BBC’s iPlayer app is finally available on Apple TV

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Just in time for Christmas, too.
Photo: Paul Dunlop

BBC’s iPlayer app has landed on Apple TV in the U.K., joining the other streaming set top boxes — such as Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV — for which it was already available.

The app includes a full catalog of programs from the past month, along with live-streaming of BBC TV stations, the ability to start watching a program on your iPhone or iPad and then switch to Apple TV or vice versa, and personalized recommendations.

BBC iPlayer is coming to Apple TV ‘soon’

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Now you can rewind live TV streams in the BBC iPlayer
Apple TV owners in the U.K. will soon be able to enjoy BBC iPlayer.
Photo: BBC

The BBC has confirmed that its on-demand “catch-up” iPlayer service is coming to the new Apple TV for the first time.

Despite being available on other platforms including Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV, Sky’s Now TV and various video game consoles, iPlayer has not previously been available through Apple TV — although it was possible to use the BBC’s free iPlayer app for the iPad or iPhone via Airplay.

Hit a high with this slow-motion video of swooping birds

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From "Birds in Slow Motion" by the BBC's Earth Unplugged.
Photo: BBC/YouTube

You understand bird’s-eye view. How about the view of its prey?

It’s likely that mouse or fish don’t even see the canopy of feathers coming. Our eyes and brains barely work fast enough to process the sight ourselves, so the guys who work in the studio for the BBC’s Earth Unplugged slowed it down for us.

The Earth Unplugged slow-motion studio, which loves to deconstruct the spit of cobras and the flight of fleas frame by frame, has compiled a 70-second clip of a variety of birds as they take off, float and hover and, of course, stick their landings.

Tim Cook ‘deeply offended’ by accusations of labor abuse

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As if Tim Cook doesn't already have enough on his plate!
Tim Cook. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has told Apple employees he’s “deeply offended” by the BBC’s critical documentary Apple’s Broken Promises that investigated working conditions inside Apple’s supply Asian supply chain.

In an email obtained by The Telegraph from Apple VP Jeff Williams to the company’s workers in the UK, Williams said he and Cook are offended by the BBC’s suggestion that Apple broke promises with workers in the supply chain, and that no other company is doing “as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions.”

Williams also countered the BBC’s claims that Apple uses tin sourced through child labor in Indonesia, saying Apple is spearheading the movement to hold the tens of thousands of artisanal miners more accountable, rather than getting out of the country altogether.

BBC’s fact-tastic data-dicing tool puts your tiny life in perspective

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So many changes. Screengrab: BBC
So many changes. Screengrab: BBC

Wondering how many solar eclipses there have been since the day you were born? How about when your next birthday on Mercury is? Perhaps you want to know how much Earth’s population has changed since your very special day.

You can answer these questions and more at BBC Earth with this interactive tool — you just plug in your birthdate, height, and gender, and you’ll get all sorts of interesting facts about our planet, as it relates to your lifespan.

“Find out how,” says the BBC site, “since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, and how far you have travelled through space.”

Heady stuff, indeed.

Elementary! Sherlock returns for fourth season plus Christmas special

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Sherlock

The official BBC One Twitter account had a surprise for fans of its hit show Sherlock Wednesday with a tease that the oft-delayed series about a modern Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick John Watson will be returning.

Go for goal with these World Cup essentials

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Caxirola

The official musical instrument of the 2014 World Cup is the Caxirola, but it has already been banned from stadiums. Not because it will drive you out of your mind with irritation like the last World Cup’s vuvuzela, but because the Caxirola is considered a security risk (or more likely, a perfect booze and drug-smuggling device.

The Caxirola looks like a cross between a lemon and a set of knuckledusters. Inside the hollow plastic bubble are hundreds of beads that rattle when you shake it and make a “nice, pleasant” sound. But you don’t have to bother with a real plastic lemon: you can buy the app.

Panini Stickers

As a kid I never really liked football, but I loved Panini football stickers. Now there’s an environmentally friendly way to collect and swap stickers (if you consider making an iPad or iPhone to be less damaging than printing a paper book). The official Panini Online Sticker Album app lets you collect and swap stickers, and stick them into a virtual album. Swapping is done online, and you get three sticker packs with the free download. $free

Authentic World Cup Jersey

I’ll be buying my Spain World Cup shirt down at the local knockoff market, but the real deal has some features that partially justify its $150 price tag. Dri-FIT microfiber, laser-cut mesh and ventilations zones will keep you cooler than if you went topless. And of course you’ll get the shivery chills every time you remember how much you paid for it. $150

Listen to the Radio

Maybe you want to follow the World Cup from the beach, or the park, or just not be stuck indoors. Or maybe you live in a foreign country and you want to listen to an English commentary while you drink Brazilian beer and watch the match in a Brazilian bar.

For this, you need the radio. Either tune a real radio to the BBC, like the World Band Tecsun radio that people like on Amazon, or grab the excellent (free or paid) TuneIn Radio app, which, as its name suggests, tunes in to any radio station that transmits via the internet. I recommend the BBC.

Street View stadium tour

Stuck in rainy Europe? Don’t own a passport to leave the U.S? No problem. Google has visited the World Cup stadiums so you don’t have to – just head over to this page to virtually tour any of Brazils World Cup stadiums via Street View.

Pick them on a map or just browse the list, and you can even take a look at the streets outside.

A big frikkin' TV

Just before the 2010 World Cup, I remember seeing lots of men dragging huge boxes into their apartment buildings. What better excuse for a new TV than a World Cup? Right now, the Wirecutter says that the best TV you can buy is the Samsung F8500, available in 51, 60 and 64-inch models and ready for 3-D should you happen a cross a game broadcast that way (and sport is probably the only reasons to use a 3-D TV). Best of all, the 51-incher is currently $1,800 on Amazon, which is $900 off list price.

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The supermarkets are already full of Brazil-related plastic junk, and even folks who only watch football once every four years are getting excited. Why? It’s World Cup time, of course!

Here we have a selection of apps and gadgets, clothes and toys to help you follow along and enjoy the show. The only thing we haven’t included is streaming app, because broadcast rights vary from country to country. Our workaround is to watch on TV or listen on the radio. Or do it like the Brazilians and head to your local bar.

The Sochi Olympics: Streaming, News And…Recommended Beverages

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This story first appeared in Cult of Mac Magazine.

Want to watch the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but don’t have a TV? Or do you have a TV but just prefer the coverage given by other countries?

Then you’re in the right place. Today we’re going to take a look at ways to watch the games on your Mac and iDevices, and which apps you might want to use to follow along with the fun.

BBC’s New Streaming Video Service Takes Page Out Of iTunes Playbook

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Given its tremendous success over the past 12 years, it’s easy to forget that the whole iTunes concept was once a risky proposition people weren’t sure would succeed.

Well, leap forward to the present day, and even the U.K.’s much-lauded BBC is taking its plays from Apple’s playbook — by announcing that it is rethinking (or at least augmenting) its classic flat license fee by borrowing from the iTunes/Netflix model and charging users £5 ($8.25) to download their favorite shows.